It’s Started Again: The Mac On Intel Rumors

Well, what MacWorld conference would complete without one of the usual
perrenial rumors resurfacing and generally making a mess all over the
place? No, these aren’t rumors of Disney buying Apple. Not even Sun or
SGI. And Apple definitely can’t afford to buy Adobe. There were some
pre-Expo rumors of Apple moving to IBM’s Power4 processor to replace the
G5 that Motorola can’t seem to ship. And then there were the rumors that
the Jobs keynote was somehow influenced by a pre-Expo party with a
certain furless shrew looking thing and a guy nicknamed “Wobs” involving
a wormwood enhanced super-beverage. But the best rumors by far were the
resurfacing of the “Apple’s going to move to Intel” rumors.

Well, the entire keynote Jobs did prattle on about “Open Standards.”
Their current hardware lineup really doesn’t reflect that. Then there
have been all the aggressive potshots taken at Microsoft’s expense. Then
there was Microsoft’s statement that Mac Office may not continue past
’03. Remember, Office has been the club that Microsoft has used to quell
Apple throughout its history. Maybe Steve is just fed up. Maybe he’s
tired of being second best. Maybe he’s ready to move Mac OS X over to
Intel. And maybe he’s been drinking more Absinthe than we previously

Exactly how many operating systems have competed with Windows and even
survived? I’m not even counting the DOS era. NeXT went nowhere fast. Only
Mac users have even heard of BeOS. Amiga went the way of the… Amiga.
And Linux still lives in the server market because its free and stable,
refuses to gain any ground because you have to be a programmer or
UNIX/Linux geek to run the thing.

I understand that Steve likes to have “options.” Mac OS X is very
competitive by itself against Windows. If Apple managed to port Mac OS X
to Intel iron, then the price factor for Macs wouldn’t exist. If Apple
included the WINE Win32 UNIX libraries and managed to reverse engineer
DirectX to map to OpenGL, then Apple could keep switchers from having to
buy all new software. And with Jag-wire(I occaisonally pronounce
it like this myself), networking with Windows boxes is already a piece of
cake. Assuming that Apple could possibly do all of this, which is as
likely as me being the next Messiah, Apple would then have to face the
wrath of Microsoft. Everything that Microsoft makes will suddenly
disappear for the Mac. No more office. No more IE. No more outlook. No
more WIMP (hooray!). No hotmail. No nothing. We will be completely
ostracized from the Church of Microsoft. And how long do you think Apple
will survive after that?

Sure, Steve likes to keep options. But unless His Steveness has a secret
plan to take away every Windows advantage from Microsoft while making
every attempt by Microsoft to shut out Apple null and void, then he would
have to have a snootful to even concider a switch to Intel iron.

Mark A. Collins

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